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La dressante au bleu, dilucot struggles

Munxcub

Member
As the title suggests, I am struggling with dilucot with this stone. It is my first hone. I can get the bevel set as it shaves arm hair just fine, but no matter how many sets of half strokes I do during the dilution, how I finish, I can't get past a violin. I was checking the edge with TPT after each set, until it got to a point that sharpness didn't seem (to me anyway) to be increasing. I've tried test shaving and it's not there.

Tonight I threw a unicot finish on it and it's testing much much better at HHT. Will test shave with that tomorrow but feel like I cheated.

I should mention, I've tried using no pressure, light pressure, measured pressure (to get between 8-12oz)... I'm not sure where I might be missing out on laps and not getting the keenness developed.

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wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Welcome to coticule.be! Nice looking coticule!
Don't feel as if unicot is cheating; it's a valid way to get a razor that shaves. The micro-bevel you created can be undone in no time. If you are like me at all, you'll be dulling and re-honing plenty!
"Playing violin" is not too shabby. It's actually a HHT 1 on Bart's scale, so it may be worth stropping and trying. Often, the hair sample you have can play a huge role in where on the scale you land. The difference between my wife's hair and my daighter's hair is at least a full point on the scale, if not two.
But what I often find myself doing is going back to the coticule with a very light slurry and doing another round of dilucot. Then 2 sets of 20 half strokes, another 40 to 60 x-stokes, on clear water and strop. Sometimes, if I'm just frustrated, I'll just strop the thing anyways and see what kind of improvement I can make that way. You might be surprised at the increase in HHT values.
Pressure's been the thing that has baffled me the most. I've tried everything from heavy to anti-gravity light and everything in between. I'm convinced that some pressure is required to get the most from the stone. I've had good luck with applying a bit of rotational force to the blade. Generally, I think, you want feel the edge working against the stone.

Good luck with the shave, I'm sure it'll be better than what you were getting off your Barber's hone;) They're bound to do nothing but get better!

Cheers,
-Chris

Edit:
I just re-read your post, and I didn't see any mention of strops. I'm assuming you stropped before your test shave... right?
Coticule edges need a good stropping to bring out their very best.
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
Try the "wicked tip" by Gary Haywood on the left column of the dilucot article in the shaving academy.
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
its all down to practice .generaly do as criss said and just start again with milky slurry. it could take a thew trys .
 

Munxcub

Member
Yeah I didn't mention, but I strop at least 60 on my canvas strop and 60 on leather. It typically makes the violin louder and get me the occasional split or catch/pop. The test shaves there were not great. Did ok WTG, catch and tug XTG.

This morning on the unicot edge (all stropped up of course) WTG was just fine, XTG was ok, but still a little tuggy. Not where I want it for sure.

I would liken what I'm getting in "shave ready" edges to a soldier who is "combat ready" in that he met all the very basic requirements, and just barely qualified... I'm looking for a warrior here, some Rambo edges. lol

I have checked out the wicked tips and tried that as best I could follow it. I think I'm starting to understand more of what I'm reading off my stone, so it should only get better. I certainly am not getting as much steel in the slurry as on the dilucot video, perhaps that's something to work on. If I'm not removing as much material, I won't be setting as sharp a bevel, right?

And yes Chris, it's already WAY better than that barber's hone. Although once I know what I'm dong perhaps that barber's hone will be ok. heh
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
How thick is your slurry when you do the bevel correction and when you start the dilucot procedure? To paraphrase Ralfy, you want it to be like milk, not cream and never yogurt.

Also, that blue sublayer looks awesome.
 

Munxcub

Member
Slurry thickness, ranging anywhere from barely discoloured to creamy. Sometimes it would get kind of pasty and I would add a bit more water before starting to get it to milky. When I try it again I will take pictures of the slurry and see.

I am going to do a TPT on one of my goto DE blades to see what that level of sharp feels like, to give me a better idea of what I'm after.
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
Yeah, a creamy or pasty consistency is way too thick and results in too much slurry dulling. And during the dilucot, you don't want the slurry to revert to a thicker consistency through evaporation, meaning that you need to play with how often you rehydrate the slurry.
 

Munxcub

Member
Yeah, when it gets pasty I haven't taken the blade to it yet, I just add water and get it to the milky look before even starting. Once I get going drying out is never an issue, and it only gets more dilute. Everything seems as it should be, which is why it's so frustrating, lol.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
I've been spending some time in the shop of a local knife maker. When we're forge welding steel, I have the same experience. I think I'm doing what I've seen him do, but my results aren't quite as good as his...

At the end of the day, there's an experience factor that cannot be talked through any more than has already been done. You just have to do it until you get it right.

This isn't meant to be flippant or dismissive, and I hope it's not taken as such.

Good luck!
 

Munxcub

Member
Oh no doubt! The difference between what I feel in terms of feedback from the stone and feeling the edge is increasing a ton every time I try it. I am getting to the results I got the first time much much faster... I just need to figure out how to get past those same results... lol

And thanks for all the help so far everyone.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
One thing I did when i was first starting out was to ensure that I was moving through dilutions very slowly and steadily. As regimented as it seems, I would take a stack of 15 pennies, and move one from one stack to another every time I did a drop of water. Then, after the rinsing part, I would do it all over again with 5 or 6 more. I also increased my half-strokes to a minimum of 20 per side. Seems silly, but the penny trick really helped to slow me down; I think I had a tendency to rush through it. And, I'd kind of lose track of just how many dilutions I'd done.
After a while, it just became second nature, and I quit using the pennies.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome.

As said all good advice in this thread :thumbup: as simple as the Dilucot can first appear, it takes quite a bit of practice and experience to get right, when you first set your bevel it is vital that you get the edge shaving arm hair easily before you move on, I find that "just" shaves arm hair isn't good enough, you want the razor to feel "scary" sharp, like "This thing feels sharp enough to shave with" sharp before you even start diluting, this will tell you 2 things, first the bevel is set properly, and second the slurry is at a spot on consistency to start diluting.

Best of luck with your journey

Ralfson
(Dr)
 

Munxcub

Member
So Chris, let me see if I'm following you. You have 15 pennies. You do one full set of halfstrokes, add a drop of water, move a penny. Do this until all 15 pennies are moved. Rinse. Do this whole procedure 5-6 more times? Or do 5 or 6 more sets after the rinse?
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
I meant that after the rinse, (the half -rinse, you should still be working with slurry at that point) just do the 5 or more sets of half-strokes. Then, after that, rinse and rub the hone and blade clean, and move onto the clear water stage.
Hope that helps.

edit: don't make too much of it, it was just something I did to force myself to slow down in dilutions. It's a bit of over-kill. Once you get a few honing sessions under your belt, it'll all happen without much thought.

If it's any consolation, I've been honing with a coticule for about 6 months, and i still find that I have room to improve. Every time i shave with a razor done by Gary, or Smythe, or DJKelly, I'm humbled a bit. It'll take time.
 

Munxcub

Member
Okie dokie, sounds good. this will be the procedure I follow next.

Slurry, sets of 20 half strokes until it shaves arm hair excruciatingly well, scary sharp as mentioned earlier.
15 penny sets of dilutions, 20 strokes/side
big splash, 5-6 more sets of 20
total rinse, 5-6 sets, 60 x-strokes

Sound about right? Anything in particular I should be looking/testing for at the various stages? Aside from TPT feeling sharper? Any kind of pass/fail type test to know I'm on the right track?
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Bang on!

I don't do a lot of testing from SAH to finish. After I'm off the stone, I then do a HHT to see if I can get a good result. If not, then it's back to a very light slurry and about 8 or so more dilutions before moving onto water again, much like Gary's Wicked Tips.

Another thing to try is some TI razor paste. It helps to boost he keenness. But if you think of Unicot as cheating, then for sure TI paste is!:w00t:

If you like, Chris, I can send you a small amount of TI paste to try. And I probably have a piece of canvas to send to use it with. Let me know.
 

Munxcub

Member
Thanks Chris!

So... now to complicate things even further, where would a guy throw in the BBW side? I won't worry about it for now, until I can get acceptable edges off the yellow side, but out of curiosity, would it go after the coti dilutions? Or set the bevel on coti, run through the whole process on BBW, then the whole process again on Coti and finish?

Or bevel - coti
Dilutions - bbw
finish - coti
???
Profit?
 
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